The history of piracy along Maine’s shores in the early 18th century is filled with pirate raids on ships and coastal towns, and tales of buried treasure. And Portland author Christopher Morin finds this era to be fertile ground for his latest novel of historical fiction.
“Rogue Plunder” is Morin’s fourth novel, an exciting adventure set on a Maine island in 1716, a turbulent period of English conflict with the French and Indians. This excellent story of colonial settlement, pirates, bloodshed and buried treasure cleverly combines with treachery, betrayal, greed, madness and murder.
After suffering Indian threats, crop failure and despair, only two families remain on Storm Island: William Estes and his invalid father, and Elizabeth Eustis and her crazy mother. William and Elizabeth are starry-eyed lovers who witness a nighttime naval battle between two warships offshore. One vessel blows up, the other wrecks on the rocks.
Exploring the wreck the next day, William and Elizabeth find one survivor, a wounded British Lieutenant of Royal Marines who tells them a fantastic story of pursuit, battle and survival. The wrecked vessel is a pirate ship loaded with treasure. The three agree to salvage the treasure together, but the lieutenant’s story doesn’t ring true, creating suspicion, mistrust and odd behavior.
Greed, lust, treachery and murder surface, and then the Indians attack, forcing a tenuous alliance with deadly result. Morin masterfully blends action, suspense and intrigue with human weakness, showing how desperate and selfish people will do anything for a treasure of gold, silver and precious jewels. These three people will reveal themselves to be as vindictive, jealous and savage as any band of bloodthirsty pirates. Think of the high-stakes action in Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island” and the shameful human greed in B. Traven’s “Treasure of the Sierra Madre.”
Interview on Good Day Maine morning news show.